1. Fanfic Competition -- Topic -- HOGWARTS DAYS

    Word count? 500-17500 words!

    Due date? October 2nd! CLICK HERE! write now!

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General Competition Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Story Competitions' started by Ched, Oct 8, 2018.

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  1. Nevermind

    Nevermind Headmaster

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    I also prefer sticking to the quarterly approach, for pretty much the same reasons @Blorcyn already laid out.

    The other fandoms competition idea is worth pursuing imo, even though most of the popular ones on here (Dresden, Worm, Naruto) are not my cup of tea. It would be interesting to see whether this could lead to lead to increased interest in the classic HP competition as well, especially if the time windows were to be not entirely concurrent.
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Awesome - going to put up the next competition thread soon.

    I'm going out of town for ~3 days so if my posts are less formatted than usual then you'll know why.

    Thanks all!
     
  3. AlbusPHolmes

    AlbusPHolmes The Alchemist

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    I'm a big fan of having both the first and second place prompts after voting be viable for that round of competition - iirc in the last couple of rounds the winning prompt has barely eked ahead to first place, and this might be creating a scenario where most of the people who chose the second don't turn in entries because of a lack of motivation/ideas/inspiration/etc. This leads to a further dearth of entries because, truth be told a lot of people who vote for the winning prompt end up not turning in entries either way, for whatever variety of reasons.

    I also agree with the quarterly format - it's just more time to develop ideas (especially given how hard it is for me to personally come up with ideas - yes, yes, I hear you in the back, ideas are easy) and then write and factor in off-periods when real life concerns take priority over writing. I'll probably wait last minute before writing either way, but having more time is invaluable and a large determinant of whether I turn in anything at all. I wrote out something for the why-Albus-doesn't-drink prompt that I'm still adding to and will toss into WbA once done.
     
  4. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I would strongly prefer to keep standard contests to just one prompt. Otherwise there's not enough... Something.

    However - we could run one where each second place choice is available. Could make it concurrent maybe? Like in addition to the quarterly we run another one - staggered - that could be the second place options or another fandom or something.

    I do like that idea. More on this later from me!
     
  5. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    First things first - participation in the competition.

    I'd like your thoughts on the following, though my mind is mostly made up to do it barring significant push back from past participants.

    I plan to make the polls for the prompt public going forward.

    The reason is that if you are voting in the poll you should have one of two possible intentions, (1) to write the story, or (2) to review all the stories. If you don't plan to either write OR review then you shouldn't be voting.

    It's okay if you vote because you planned to do one of those and life got in the way. Hell I haven't managed to write for any of these things (yet) and I think I even missed reviewing on one of them! But I've intended to write every time, and apart from missing my own reviewing deadline I've reviewed every time. The time I did miss I still went back to review.

    By making the polls public I don't want to start some sort of bullshit bullying/shaming shit. But I do want to have a list of people who should be prodded both before the competition ends (to write!) and once it's time to review (because if you didn't write you should still review, ffs the reviews only have to be 200 words long!).

    It's okay to fuck it up sometimes and not get things done. But the intention should be that you are going to participate either by writing or reviewing. I'm personally okay with you never intending to write so long as you intend to review. But we want more turnout, and I think this might help keep people accountable.

    Second things second - go forth and advertise!

    I don't frequent other HP areas of the internet these days, but if someone wants to go post about our competition on other forums please do so.

    PM me with what needs to be done HERE to make the competition accessible. And by that I don't mean making things more friendly so much as making sure that the "Story Competition" sub-forum is somewhere that newly registered members can access. I.e. Does it need to be moved out of WbA? Can someone check that? If no one does then I'll eventually get around to checking all of that myself, but yeah.

    And, finally, third things third...

    I am considering running an occasional competition counter to the quarterly ones. However I am hesitant to do so until we are getting more regular turnout here. But it might be a way to solve the problem of some people feeling the competitions are too long and/or spread out.

    Example Schedule:

    HP competitions as they have been run so far:
    Jan - Mar: Q1 HP
    Apr - Jun: Q2 HP
    Jul - Sep: Q3 HP
    Oct - Dec: Q4 HP

    Random Topics
    Feb - May: Dresden (no-HP)
    Aug - Nov: HP 2nd place poll - all second place poll choices are available to write, so you can use any of those prompts
    May - Aug: HP Crossover, any fandom


    ...etc. The idea being that each of the "random topics" would always have a due date in the middle of the standard quarterly competition.

    I'm not set on the above, but it seems that a few people might enjoy having the extra competitions for random topics like those that aren't straight HP stories.

    But regardless the "HP 2nd place poll" one will happen at some point. I'll probably start asking winners if we can do that and include their winning prompt as an option in our regular competition soon if the above doesn't pan out.
     
  6. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    We've been discussing one new addition behind the scenes, so to speak, and @Sorrows should get credit for this lovely idea that I support.

    When we review in the next competition we're going to include spoiler tags on the reviews.

    It will not be enforced - if you really want to read other peoples reviews before leaving your own then you can - but we feel that what others are saying is influencing everyone who reviews afterwards. We want to try and curb that some. It's not going to be a rule you can't read reviews, just a request.

    Thoughts?
     
  7. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I already try not to read other reviews until I post my own, but collapsing it into a spoiler will make scrolling easier (especially on a phone), so I'm all for it.
     
  8. Zombie

    Zombie Black Philip Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Do you think its an issue of people being influenced by other reviews or are they all trained to recognize the same thing? I feel like people mention the same shit over and over because its easy fodder to pad their word count for posting. I'm not objecting spoiler tags, I think that everyone should just review better. I was a bit lazy this time around and I apologize for that. But I saw more than one review that pretty much highlights the same thing. I think a challenge would be to understand the other reviews before posting your own and trying to hit on something new instead of beating a dead fucking horse.

    Re: @Joe desire to insert quotes at the beginning of everything (BTW Joe, a challenge for you would be to write a comp entry that is totally detached from your own voice so that in five words I can't already know who you are)

    So, spoilers are good and I'd follow through with it. I wouldn't give the option. You either spoiler or you don't review. I know you're trying to encourage people to post and engage more, but in general those that weren't going to post aren't going to not post because of a rule like that, it will be something else like their own laziness.
     
  9. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    @Zombie I disagree that if multiple people mention the same thing, it must mean that they're being lazy reviewers. Maybe they just happen to agree that something in a story really sucked.

    There was every kind of criticism present across reviews in this round. Characters, plot, pacing, structure, people pulled quotes to highlight specific things...
     
  10. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    @Zombie - using spoilers won't be optional. We'll ask everyone to do it and if they don't then I'll edit to add spoiler tags.

    But it's pretty much impossible to police who reads them and who doesn't, and I am not wading into a he said / she said about whether or not people read other reviews or not. So if you really want to, go for it. That's more the spirit of what I meant.

    Maybe people are mentioning the same things because we all notice them and maybe not. If that's the case though then this won't change much of anything.
     
  11. Silirt

    Silirt Chief Warlock DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    Can we link the prompts thread in each competition specific thread in the future? I get the idea that people are most likely to think up prompt ideas during the voting process. For that matter, can we link it in this thread?
     
  12. Newcomb

    Newcomb Minister of Magic

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    If you really wanted to preserve the integrity you could just submit reviews to someone and they're not posted until after the contest's over, I suppose.

    It's kind of a win-lose either way though since any move you make to discourage people from interacting with the reviews means that engagement suffers, and vice versa.

    Also, if you're going to allow stories as short as entry 1, then to a degree, reviews are going to be homogeneous. At a certain point, there's just nothing left to say, unless you step out of the role of reviewer and into the role of editor. But, unless I'm misunderstanding the competition, this isn't WbA. The goal of the reviews is what worked, what didn't, what you enjoyed, what you didn't. Not an in-depth analysis of how parts could be made better.
     
  13. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I would oppose disallowing interacting with other reviews. I might prefer to post my own first, but then I relish reading what others have said--perhaps we agreed on something, or perhaps they had an insight I didn't (btw @Newcomb, reading your reviews of others' work is almost as satisfying as reading WYLB). But someone might want to consult what's been said already and try to offer something new--which would be impossible if reviews were unviewable during voting.

    I also vote that we ban @Joe from putting quotes at the start of his submissions. Not banning quotes in general, just for Joe.
     
  14. Sorrows

    Sorrows Queen of the Flamingos Moderator

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    (Unsprisingly) I think putting reviews in spoiler tags is a good compromise. It encourages people to review without reading everyone else's opinion first, but it does not ban people from seeing what others have said.

    The possible issue as I see it is people know they are required to leave a review of a certain length. If there is some part of the story that another reviewer has mentioned that they agree with, they are inclined to add it to their own review. People who make a point of not reading reviews first focus on notably different aspects of the story.

    If people are not influencing each others reviews, nothing much will change. If they are, maybe reviews will have more verity. If people do want to read reviews before posting their own theres nothing to stop them.

    Edit: I vote that everyone must add quotes at the start of their stories to disguise @Joe 's entries. Extra points for the most pretentious and the most rediculous.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  15. Stealthy

    Stealthy Groundskeeper

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    Don’t see why it’s not worth trying. Can’t hurt, and if it broadens the feedback then great.
     
  16. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I don't understand this request. Or at least I'm not sure if I do.

    You mean you want me to add a link to this thread in each competition thread's initial post? In case people are too lazy to go there but aren't too lazy to find it in a completely different thread? I mean I don't mind doing so if people agree, but it seems strange enough I wanted to ask.
     
  17. Silirt

    Silirt Chief Warlock DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    That's pretty much it. It'd be a minor improvement.
     
  18. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter ⭐⭐⭐

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    Yeah all joking aside, the fact that so many of my reviews for the last round touched on the quote issue, means it was an issue.

    There's an old bit of writing advice around if a handful of people highlight the same problem, it's a problem. That bit of advice goes on to say that they are often wrong in how to fix the problem, but if you're getting the same feedback from multiple sources then it needs to change.

    In this particular case, I likely should have just picked my favourite quote and gone with that. Stuck with one, if any at all.
     
  19. Zombie

    Zombie Black Philip Moderator DLP Supporter

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    My response is more in regard to the reviews being helpful. I recognize that its a problem, but I also don't need to restate it, the five people before me have done so already.
     
  20. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    @Joe I heard that advice in a slightly different version: if someone is telling you exactly what is wrong and points to a precise place in the text, they might just be nitpicking. But if they're telling you something broad ("this character seems off, but I can't pin down what exactly that is"), there's a good chance they're right.
     
    Joe
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